“Spend your nightlife table hopping, trying to keep your bag of bones in trim” – Noel Gallagher.
When travel used to be a thing, I loved the thrill of it all. I loved the crazy stuff, I needed even the sorrow amidst all that. The unrecognised countries, the secrets, the wacaday museums, the sadness at death camps, but when the gorgeous round ball sank, I used to love finding a random bar. These are some of the bars with quirky records that I was in. I love such wacaday spots. I found them before. I’ll find them again. Bet your bottom złoty.
1.The Southernmost Pub in AUSTRALIA
Name – Bruny Island Hotel
Address – 3959 Main Rd, Bruny Island, Tasmania 7150, AUSTRALIA
Further Reading – My lonely beer on Bruny Island
“It’s twelve o’clock till midnight, there must be someone to blame” – Manic Street Preachers.
To get to the Southernmost Pub in Australia, you need to leave mainland Australia for Tasmania. And even once you have done that, you then also need to leave mainland Tasmania for the idyllic Bruny Island. I spent 5 months living in Tasmania and I spent a weekend on Bruny Island. I arrived by ferry from the seaside port of Kettering. There is a sadness here though…
When I was here, the Bruny Island Hotel was closed the whole weekend so I never got a chance to have a drink here. I still photographed it, parked outside it, had a beer outside and pondered on what might have been. I’ll never be there again.
2.The World’s Lowest Bar, Dead Sea, ISRAEL/PALESTINE
“This is a low but it won’t hurt you” – Damon Albarn.
While some of the claims on this post might seem a little untrue, this is one claim that I can definitely believe. The Dead Sea is really low, but who wins? Israel or Palestine. Let’s not get into that – I visited both countries and I just wanted a low beer. Here at Kalia beach, after reading your newspaper floating in the salty waters, you can beer sink in the world’s lowest bar. Classic quirk…
3.England’s Oldest Pub, Nottingham, ENGLAND
“I’m gonna spend boring minutes talking to people like you” – Brian Clough.
This can be debated but as things stand, Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem still claims to be the oldest pub in England, dating back to 1189 AD. I’ve been to Nottingham 4 times, twice to watch Nottingham Forest, double European Champions. I’ve only popped in here once for a pint and it was great. It also oddly links to the previous entry on Israel / Palestine.
4.The World’s First Bar to Be Televised Live on the Internet, Belfast, NORTHERN IRELAND
Name – The Crown Bar
Address – 46 Great Victoria St, Belfast BT2 7BA, NORTHERN IRELAND
Further Reading – The Crown Bar
“I’m from T-bay, that’s the ghetto mate” – Carl Frampton.
The Crown Bar in Belfast, Northern Ireland is one of my favourite bars in the world. I just love it! I try to visit it every time I am back in my home capital city. Visit it – it’s simple. I love it. Tourist gimmick loyal maybe, but it won’t wane.
5.The Longest Bar In Europe, Birmingham, ENGLAND
Name – The Square Peg (it’s a Wetherspoons)
Address – Unit 1-3 Temple Court, 115 Corporation Street, Birmingham, B4 6PH
Further Reading – The Square Peg
“That’s becider pint” – Lock In Lee Adams.
This is probably not the longest bar in Europe any more, but it once was. I love a good quirk like that. I’ve been to Birmingham a load of times, normally to meet up with Lock In Lee Adams and we usually do different bars each time. I was only in here once and did it for the quirk, plus I love a good cheap Wetherspoons!
6.The World’s Southernmost Irish Pub, Ushuaia, ARGENTINA
Name – Irish Pub Dublin
Address – 9 de Julio 168, V9410 DDD, Tierra del Fuego, ARGENTINA
Further Reading – World’s Southernmost Irish Pub
“We’re one but we’re not the same” – Paul Hewson.
The odd thing about this one is that TWO pubs in Ushuaia both claim to be the world’s southernmost Irish Pub!! So the fact that I spent at least a week in this city meant I had easily time to visit both of them. First up the Dublin…
7.(Also)The World’s Southernmost Irish Pub, Ushuaia, ARGENTINA
Name – Irish Pub Dublin
Address – 9 de Julio 168, V9410 DDD, Tierra del Fuego, ARGENTINA
Further Reading – World’s Other Southernmost Irish Pub
“It was the hand of God” – Diego Armando Maradona.
Yes you read that correctly – numbers 6 and 7 are the same claim! I headed to the Galway Irish Pub, which to me felt like it was more south as it is closer to the harbour part of Ushuaia.
8.Ireland’s Highest Pub, Glenshane Pass, NORTHERN IRELAND
Name – The Ponderosa
Address – 974 Glenshane Rd, County Londonderry BT47 4SD, NORTHERN IRELAND
Further Reading – Ireland’s Highest Pub
“I get so high I just can’t feel it” – Noel Gallagher.
Ireland’s highest pub is the Ponderosa on the Glenshane Pass in Northern Ireland. I have been here quite a few times, including with my friends Chris Ragg and Darren Latimer. My Dad and I also stopped off here in 2008. More recently, in 2017 when I took my Polish friends Rafał and Julia on a tour of Northern Ireland, we popped in. I’ve been 4 times but only drank alcohol once as it’s not a drinking pub, it’s a stop off on the epic drive through Northern Ireland’s Sperrin Mountains.
9.The World’s Highest Irish Pub, La Paz, BOLIVIA
“Go and tell it to the man who cannot shine” – Noel Gallagher.
Again, as we know that pubs and bars love to have debates about who actually should hold that accolade. When backpacking in South America in 2010 – 2011, I was curious to visit the world’s highest Irish Pub. The problem was – two pubs were claiming it, so clearly I’d have to visit both. I started in lofty La Paz, which kind of capitals Bolivia (joint with Sucre).
In this pub I had an epic night with fellow County Down man Grant, who had his Down gaelic shirt on for the evening. It’s fair to say we had a few beers!!
10.The World’s Highest Irish Owned Pub, Cuzco, PERU
Name – Paddy Flaherty’s
Address – Triunfo 124, Cusco 08002, PERU
Further Reading – Highest Irish Owned Pub in the World
“Be not afraid of greatness; some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them” – William Shakespeare.
So having already had some beers in the “World’s Highest Irish Pub” in La Paz, Bolivia, I ended up in Cuzco in Peru after my epic Machu Piccu hike. It was actually on the hike by a fellow hiker that I became aware that Paddy Flaherty’s in Cusco/Cuzco. Curiosity killed the cat…
11.The World’s Oldest Restaurant in Madrid, SPAIN
Name – Sobrino de Botin
Address – Calle de Cuchilleros, 17, 28005 Madrid, SPAIN
Further Reading – Eating in Madrid’s oldest restaurant.
“Sun’s gone to hell, you got the moon riding high” – Mark Knopfler.
When my wacaday journey was already 100 countries deep, I finally made it to Madrid, which capitals Spain. Here, on a quiet poky old street sits the Sobrino de Botin. This restaurant claims to be the oldest restaurant in the world!
One of my dorm buddies from the Cats Hostel, Andrew (who later met up with me in Hong Kong) came with me to devour a lunch and neck a bottle of decent Spanish wine. I have to say – I enjoyed this place, Glentoran got into the Irish Cup final just before that visit.
12.The Oldest Pub in Ireland, Donaghadee, NORTHERN IRELAND
Name – Grace Neill’s
Address – 33 High St, Donaghadee BT21 0AH, NORTHERN IRELAND
Further Reading – TBA
“It’s six mile from Bangor till Donaghadee” – Richard Hayward.
Oh Gracies! I’ll just leave it here…my Polish friend Rafał Kowalczyk had to duck down to get into the pub. This bar is so old, that nobody was that tall back then. I love a good Guinness in Gracies….
13.The World’s Oldest Bar, Wadi Musa, JORDAN
“Rid a ha Rid a ha” – Song about a girl.
This claim seemed just ridiculous to me. I almost couldn’t believe it, that the oldest bar in the world is in Jordan! For a start, Jordan is an Islamic dominant country and in that religion, alcohol is banned. However, bar doesn’t mean alcohol and Jordan isn’t as strict as Saudi Arabia as you can buy beers here. I had to go in. The Cave Bar in Wadi Musa dates back to the 1st Century BC.
Occupying a 2000-year-old Nabataean rock tomb, this atmospheric Petra hot spot has been known to stay open until 4am on busy summer nights.
We popped in after a day touring the sights of Petra in Jordan. Panny and I. Ya neva change whats been an gone.
14.A Bar in Europe Looking At Africa, GIBRALTAR
When I finally backpacked in Gibraltar in 2015, I stayed at the Cannon Hotel and explored the bars of Gibraltar, as well as Gibraltar Town, top of the rock and Europa Point. It’s a fantastic country. One of the highlights was my relaxing beer at the Top of the Rock. Here you sip a beer in Europe, while you stare at Africa.
Morocco is just across the sea. Plus you can have an actual Gibraltarian beer here.
15.The most Wacaday Bar in an Unrecognised Country, ARTSAKH
Name – The Van Gogh Restaurant, Eclectic Hotel
Address – Vank, Find it somehow, NAGORNO KARABAKH/ARTSAKH
Further Reading – My night in the Eclectic Hotel, Vank
For a start, Artsakh is whackpacking to a tee. It doesn’t get much more crazy than a night in Vank.
There is more wacaday madness in this cannon. I typed this up at Easter over a few jars…
Here are some videos from these quirky bars down the years.